Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thank You, Veterans!

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On November 11, America celebrates Veterans Day. It is the day 
we honor the men and women who have served in the armed 
forces. Veterans Day is a national holiday! 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Veterans: Men and women who have served in the armed forces.
Soldiers: Men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces.

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Here is a link to a wonderful BrainPop

 video about America's Armed Forces.

What did you learn about the 
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast guard?

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Here is a link to a patriotic Veterans Day blog post by Mrs. Hembree in Seattle, Washington. Read about her father-in-law's service and see photos from his Honor Flight to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  

Photo honoring veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Joe Hembree

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To help us learn about Veterans Day and the men and women who serve, I asked my students if any of their family members are in the military or are veterans. We honor our soldiers with this blog post! 

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Meet our district superintendent, Dr. Stepenosky. As you can see, he served in the Navy. From 1990 to 1994, he was on the USS Chancellorsville which was a guided missile cruiser. It was 9,000 tons and had a crew of 330. Notice the destroyer in the background.

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Meet Dylan's grandpa who served in the Air Force. This picture was taken in 1968 while he was in Vietnam. He was an air traffic controller which means he helped planes take off and land. Dylan's grandpa was in the Air Force for 27 years.

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Meet Seymour, Lola's grandfather. In 1942, Seymour signed up for the Army Air Corps (now known as the US Air Force). He went to training camps to learn to fly an airplane around the country before he was shipped out to Hawaii in 1944.

Seymour rose the rank of First Lieutenant and became the pilot of an airplane known as a B 25 Mitchell. In early 1945, he was deployed to the Philippine Islands. His mission was to pilot a crew of about 10 other air corps men.

While Seymour was away fighting in the war, his wife, Ruth, was also supporting the war effort by working in a factory in New Jersey. 

Seymour made it through the war with no injuries and came back home to New Jersey to be with Ruth and their young daughter, Barbara.  Lola's father was not born until many years later.  Below is a photo of Lola's grandfather and grandmother at one of Seymour's base camps.

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Meet Steven Burnett, Reese's step-cousin. He served two terms in Afghanistan with the Air Force. This picture was taken in 2011.

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Meet Dawson's cousin, Eitan, who is currently serving in Marines.   He is in the officers' program in VirginiaWe are very proud of him.  He is an amazing man!  

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Meet Nolan's great-grandfather, Dale. This is Grandma Barb's father. He enlisted in the Navy when he turned 18. He hadn't yet graduated from high school when he enlisted. He entered the Navy during World War II and was on a type of ship called a destroyer. He was on a tour of duty that took him many places including Japan. 

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Meet Josh's maternal grandfather. He served during WW II in the Air Force division in Burma from 1944-46. He job was an engineer who worked on fixing electronic communication systems .

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Meet Enzo's maternal great-grandfather, Grandpa John. He died when Enzo's grandma (his daughter) was just 15. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp. and was stationed in Haiti where he met Enzo's great-grandmother and fell in love. 

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Meet Allie's great-aunt Ellen. She is her grandmother's first cousin and is she is a veteran. Ellen is a colonel (ker •nel) in the U. S.  army, she's on active duty, and is also a radiologist. She works at a military hospital where they take care of our soldiers and their families, especially kids. Colonel Ellen thanks Allie and her class for remembering all of the veterans.

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Today, we had a fabulous Veterans Day assembly. Students wore red, white, and blue, and we had some very distinguished guests. Five veterans came to our school and were honored with a presentation and a guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner

The assembly started with the pledge. Notice the veterans who saluted, while civilians placed their right hand over their hearts. 

One of the veterans was a non·a·ge·nar·i·an (nän ə jəˈ rē ən). A nonagenarian is a person who is between 90-99 years old. He is a WW II veteran. 

Everyone wanted to thank the veterans for their service to America! 

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Years ago, Mrs. Yollis' family retired some old tattered flags. Click here to see one of the ways to respectfully retire a flag. 

Here is a wonderful patriotic song, You're a grand Old Flag. Mrs. Yollis' late mother is playing the piano. The words are below. Sing along! 

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high-flying flag,
And forever in peace may you wave.

You're the emblem of the land I love, 
The home of the free and the brave.

Ev'ry heart beats true 'Neath the Red, White and Blue, 
Where there's never a boast or brag. 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot 
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Are any of your relatives or friends veterans?

Please tell us about them and thank them for their service to America!


  1. Jade (Elie's sister's friend)November 9, 2016 at 7:35 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am in middle school, and I very much appreciate our Veterans. I miss assemblies like you had today. Thank you for this blog post. I really think it makes us remember what Veterans Day is all about and why we appreciate our veterans. They do so much for our country. Just think; if we didn't have soldiers and veterans, a lot more would go wrong. That is why I love celebrating Vetern's day. Sadly, I do not have any friends or family who have been in the army or are veterans.
    How do you commemorate our veterans on Veteran's Day.

    Jade (Elie's sister's friend)

  2. Dear Mrs.Yollis,
    I am very exited about Veterans Day, my school is celebrating Veterans Day by not having school on Friday. I am doing project about my field trip to an aquariam in long beach! It is about ocean wildlife I have written about manta rays otters and how to protect them! I hope you blog back soon!

  3. Dear Chaolin,
    I am very exited to hear from you is everything good I hope you are learning fun stuff I am learning about the ocean! Yesterday I went to an aquariam on an field trip! What are you learning about? At my school we take the day off because of Veterans day! Blog back soon.

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    I was so happy to read about your school’s special program honoring Veterans this week. The photos and information about specific Veterans directly related to your students was also very interesting.

    When my Dad, Nolan’s great-grandfather, was alive, every Veteran’s Day he and my Mom would attend a special luncheon hosted by students from the local high school. It would be held at the high school and the students acted as servers. The students not only served a delicious meal to the Veteran’s but also visited with them and thanked them for their service to our country and to all of us. I believe they also put on a small program for their enjoyment. I always thought it was so wonderful that the students and their teachers took time out of their busy schedule to honor these heroes and remember all those who did not come back from their tour of duty. Every year my Dad would beam when he would tell me about the special day he had with the students.

    Honoring our Veterans not only makes our Veterans feel proud and appreciated but it also reminds each of us how lucky we are to have brave men and women in all branches of service. Kudos to your school and each of you for keeping this tradition of remembering and appreciating our Veteran’s alive.

    Barb (Nolan’s Grandma from Wisconsin)

    1. @ Barb,

      Thank you for sharing your moving history with us.

      I too was very deeply touched by this blog post and the very special program honoring Veterans. I especially loved that specific Veterans directly related to Mrs. Yollis' students were incorporated. What a beautiful job done!

      When Elie was younger we too went as servers in a local restaurant that would open its doors to Veterans that day and prepared a super special luncheon for all volunteers to serve. We met amazing Veterans. Our local library also hosted a Veterans Day program where Veterans would share their stories with us.

      How many generations in your family have lived in the United States of America? How many served?

      Liat (Elie's Mom)

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post about Veterans Day, and the pictures are great.
    My Grandfather (Cora's Great Grandfather) served in the military, and flew a fighter jet in World War II. His plane was actually shot down over the Pacific Ocean, and he was rescued by a ship. Could you imagine that?
    We should respect and always thank Veterans for their service to our country. They are one of the main reasons we are able to enjoy freedom, and Democracy in the United States!

    Jason (Cora's Dad)

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    As a 5th grade teacher I want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about all of the Veterans that are related to your students as well as your superintendent. It is something I would like to do next year with my students. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Mrs. G

  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    It's finally Veterans Day! Today reminds me of the assembly that the Student Council held on Wednesday.

    Here are a couple of engaging facts.

    1. World War I ended on November 11th, at the 11th hour. It is also the 11th month.
    2. Today there are about 24 million veterans alive.

    Red, white, and blue,
    Dyl♕n B.

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    Here in Australia we also remember our veterans on November 11 but we call it Remembrance Day.

    I had a Great Uncle Ernie who went to France in WWI but didn't return. He was killed in action.

    My father was also a veteran but, unlike his Uncle Ernie, he returned after WW2. Both had served in the Australian Army although I had uncles in other services.

    My father had been taken as a P.O.W. to the Japanese when British forces surrendered to the Japanese on February 15, 1942. When Japan surrendered in 1945, he was able to return to Australia but many of his fellow soldiers did not.

    Despite the suffering for both him and others while a P.O.W., he always taught me not to hate. He had said the Japanese soldiers were as much victims of their then society as he was. I try to live by the lesson he taught, we need to forgive others if we are to move on in friendship.

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    1. Dear Ross,

      I was so moved by the way you told the history of veteran’s in your family. Your family history is a long legacy of service to others.

      I was especially impressed by the lesson your father imparted to you about forgiving as a way to move forward in friendship. Coming from someone (your father) who was a P.O.W. and who survived that ordeal, it is doubly impressive. Your father could just as well have become resentful and bitter with his captors and his situation but he chose the higher ground. What an amazing man and what a powerful lesson to pass along to his family and now to all of us.

      I can’t thank you enough for sharing this amazing story!

      Barb (Nolan’s Grandma from Wisconsin)

  9. Dear Mrs.Yollis,
    I like Veterans day a lot! I know a couple of facts about veterans, I am not very informed on veterans because I do not study veterans! should I tell you what I know?!

  10. Dear Amanda,

    There is a long history of military service in your family about which you should know. I will start with Papa Roger's side of the family.

    Your grandfather, Papa Roger, was a lieutenant in the US Army. Lieutenants are officers. He went through something called ROTC training while he was in college to become one. He expected to serve in the Korean War, but by the time he was done with his training, the war in Korea was over. He served the remainder of his time in the Army during peace time.

    His father, your great grandfather, was not as lucky, but he was very fortunate. He was also in the US Army. He served during WWI and survived. I don't know much more than that because he didn't speak about it much to Papa Roger. I never met your great grandfather because he passed away long before I was born. I am named after him - he and I share the exact same name.

    Your Nana Jacky's father and both of her uncles were also in the military. They were all in WWII. Your great grandfather was named John, but went by Jack. He died during WWII, but both of his brothers survived. You have met both of them. One was your Uncle Jimmy who was in the Navy, but you won't remember him because you were too young. The other was your Uncle George who will always be a US Marine. Uncle George and Aunt Vee, his wife, came to our house many times. Both Uncle George and Uncle Jimmy served in the South Pacific "theater." You will learn a lot about it eventually.

    Nana Jacky also had a brother (Micheal) who served in the US Army during Vietnam. Nana Jacky said that before he went to war he was a happy-go-lucky guy, but being in Vietnam changed him. He didn't speak much about his experience there. I have several wonderful memories of him... but my favorite is about an epic water-balloon fight when I was about your age.

    You also have an Uncle David who is a US Marine. He also served during Vietnam. His job was as a Door Gunner on helicopters. He would keep his fellow Marines safe as they got on and off the choppers. He likes to talk about his service and if you want to ask him questions, you can.

    I will save the stories of the women in our family who also served our country during WWII - one was even on your mother's side of the family in Italy!

    All of your family that served in the armed forces were very brave and strong as were the people with whom they served and the men and women who continue to serve our nation. We must always be grateful to them and keep them in our hearts and memories.



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